Letter: Letter unfairly criticized AMA

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As president of the American Medical Association, I’d like to respond to Ricky Lee Jackson’s July 3 letter, “Medical group’s arrogance apparent,” which confuses personal opinion with fact when making claims about the AMA. It’s critically important to the AMA that our uniquely American health care system still includes a private and public mix of health insurers, as it did before the new health reform law was passed. The AMA supported the new law because it extends coverage to millions of Americans and makes important insurance market reforms such as an end to denials based on pre-existing conditions.

The AMA’s House of Delegates, which includes members from every state and medical specialty, voted overwhelmingly recently to reaffirm our policy in support of individual responsibility for health insurance for all Americans, with assistance for those who need it.

The AMA has had this policy since 2006, before the health reform debate, because it is the best way to cover the uninsured in our nation.

As the nation’s largest physician organization, we’re working now to achieve much-needed improvements for patients and physicians, including comprehensive medical liability reform to decrease health care costs and a permanent fix to the broken Medicare physician payment system that threatens access to care for seniors.

Peter W. Carmel

Chicago, Ill.